18/10/2017, Kathmandu, Rhema Subedi
The criminal code designed to integrate and amend existing laws on Criminal offense-registered at the parliament on 15 October 2014 by Narahari Acharya, then Minister of Law, Justice, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs of Nepal -was passed by the parliament of Nepal on 8th of August, 2017. It was enacted by the president, Bidhya Devi Bhandari on 16th of October 2017. (The legislation parliament made this information public on 17th October 2017.)
Religious leaders from different religions in the country have been showing concern on section 9 of this bill ever since it was first drafted. Feedback and appeals have been provided to change the aforementioned section on various occasions and in various offices throughout the last few years.
Attached herewith, you can find an image of section 9. The English translation is as follows:
Criminal Code 2074
Offence Regarding Religion
- Religious or holy places
1.No one should damage, hate or insult or other related act on religious belief or holy places or pollute graveyards of any ethnic groups or community intentionally.
2.If found guilty; there will be punishment of three years of imprisonment and penalty of thirty thousand rupees.
3. If foreigners are found guilty; they will have to be deported within seven days after completing imprisonment mentioned in first clause.
156. Religious sentiments
1. No one should stab religious sentiments of any caste, community or ethnic groups by using texts, writing, verbal, symbols or any other means.
2. If found guilty; there will be punishment of three years of imprisonment and penalty of thirty thousand rupees.
157. Religious traditions
1.No one should create any kind of obstacles in religious tradition of other faith being practiced since ancient times.
2. If found guilty; there will be punishment of one year of imprisonment or penalty of ten thousand rupees or both.
158. Religious conversion
1.No one should involve or encourage in conversion of religion.
2.No one should convert a person from one religion to another religion or profess them own religion and belief with similar intention by using or not using any means of attraction and by disturbing religion or belief of any ethnic groups or community that being practiced since ancient times.
3. If found guilty; there will be punishment of five years of imprisonment and penalty of fifty thousand rupees.
4. If foreigners are found guilty; they will have to be deported within seven days after completing the imprisonment in third clause.
159. Statute of limitations
- Filing of lawsuit is not valid after six months from the date of knowledge of offence committed for article. Such status of limitation will be three months from the day of offence committed for rest of the articles of this section.